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3 1833 01145 6800 


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Organized May 9, 1894. 
Incorporated July 9, 1894. 

V k '3,/ru> J 

Bulletin No. 


— OF- 








Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



On April 30th, 1733, Right Worshipful Anthoney, Lord 
Viscount Montague, Grand Master of Free & Accepted 
Masons of England, commissioned Right Worshipful Henry 
Price to be Provincial Grand Master of Masons of New Eng- 
land, and authorized him to establish lodges in North America- 
In accordance with that commission lodges were instituted, 
the first one to be organized in America being St. John's 
Lodge, of Boston. In succession Right Worshipful Grand 
Master Price and his successors in office instituted lodges at 
Philadelphia (under the direction of our Worshipful Brother 
Benjamin Franklin), at Portsmouth, N. II., Charleston, S. C, 
Antigua, B. W. I., Annapolis, N. S., Newfoundland, Newport, 
R. L, Halifax, N. S., Maryland, New Haven, and New Lon- 
don, Conn., and a score of other localities, the organizations 
being in those days almost wholly limited to seacoast towns. 
In Massachusetts there were organized under this authority, 
Philanthropic Lodge, of Marblehead, in 1760; St. John's, of 
Newburyport, in 1766 ; Tynan, of Gloucester, in 1770 ; and 
Union, of Nantucket, in 1771. 

The petition for a charter for Union Lod< 

Is as fol- 

lows : — 

To the Right Worshipful Jolui Rowe, Esq., Grand Master 
Mason for North America: — 

Right Worshipful Sir : — We, the Subscribers, being sen- 
sible that it lies in our Power to Propagate that Ancient & 
Honourable body of Free and Accepted Masons here in this 
Place : And as we think it our indispensible Duty to use our 
best Endeavours to Propagate so noble an Art with all the 
Strictness and Regularity as becomes Members of a just and 
perfect Lodge ; and Right Worshipful we are likewise sensible 
that no one ought to come to any light or knowledge by any 
Clandestine or unrcgular Method, that may tend to fast any 
Disgrace upon the Fraternity, which we shall always be sorry 
to hear of ; And' we shall always use our best Endeavours to 
promote \o laudable a Society when it is established in due 
form. And now Rt. Worshipful Sir, We desire and request 



of your Worship that if it is consistant with your will and 
pleasure that you would send us a Warrant so that we may 
have a just and perfect Lodge Consecrated here, so that when 
any Candidates offer themselves, we may be able to deal with 
them in due form. — Right Worshipful our Motive is this, lust, 
our Duty to our Maker; second, to our fellow men ; thirdly, 
to the Fraternity in general throughout the Globe ; and Sir we 
would acquaint your Worship that there is several that hath 
offered themselves as Candidates thinking that we had power 
to deal with them,& Men ot good Character. And now Right 
Worshipful we would have you take the Matter into your 
serious Consideration, and to act agreeable to the trust reposed 
in you, and if your Worship thinks we are woi thy of a Warrant 
and. will send us one, we your worthy Brothers in Duty Bound 
shall ever pray. 

Nantucket, April 16, 177 1. 

P. S. — We would desire your 
Worship to send us an Answer 
as soon as is Convenient. 

Will'm Brock, M 
Jos'h Deniston, 
Henry Smith, 
Willi am Worth, 
Ciiris'k Hussey, I 



'. C. 


Respecting this petition the records give this report : 

St. John's Grand Lodge, 
Quarterly Communication, Bunch of Grapes Tavern, Boston, 
Friday, April 26, 5771. 
"The Lodge was informed from the Chair that a number of 
Brethren belonging to Nantucket had Petitioned for a War- 
rant to hold a Lodge in that Place, and said Petition being 
read, the Grand Master asked the Counsel of the Lodge, who 
joined with him in Opinion that the Grand Secretary do 
acquaint the Petitioners by Letter, that three Master Masons 
are necessary to the Constituting of a New Lodge ; also with 
the Expence attending the same ; and desire them to Nomi- 
nate one of the Petitioners for their first Master." 

In conformity to these implied instructions the following 
letter was sent to the petitioning Brethren : 

Boston, 27th April, 1771 . 
Sir : — At a Grand Lodge or Quarterly Communication held 
at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston on Friday, the 26th 
Instant, a Petition from a Number of Brethren dated at Nan- 
tucket April 16th, 1771, requesting a Warrant to hold a Lodge 

of Free and Accepted Masons in said Place was 

ReaVl ; And 

after due Consideration thereon, the Grand Master with the 
Advice of said Grand Lodge directed " that the Grand Secrc- 


" tary do acquaint the Petitioners by Letter that Three Master 

" Masons are necessary to the constituting of a New Lodge ; 
" also will) the Kxpence all ending the same ; And desire them 
11 to nominate one of the Petitioners lor their first Master." 

In Obedience to said Direction I take this Opportunity thro' 
you Sir, to acquaint the said Petitioners with the Proceedings 
of the Grartd Lodge relative, to their Petition, and inform you 
that the Cost of a Deputation will he Three Guineas and an 
half, to be paid on the delivery thereof. I likewise desire you 
would let me know it" there are Three Master Masons of your 
Number: And who you think fit to Nominate as your first 
Master. After I am made acquainted with these Particulars, 
I presume the Grand Master will give Directions for a Depu- 
tation to be made out with all convenient Dispatch. 
Interim I remain, Sir, 

Yours and the cither Petitioners' Affectionate Brother 
and very humble Servant, 

Tup: Brown, Gr. Sec'y. 
Mr. Cirkisxo. Mussev, 

at Nantucket. 

There is no record to show just what reply was made to the 
letter of the Grand Secretary, but it is evident there were at 
least the requisite number of Master Masons, that the fee was 
furthcoming and that Worshipful Brother Captain William 
Brock was nominated as their first Master, for with commend- 
able celerity a Charter was issued, of which the following is a 
copy : 


John Row.e, G. M 

To all and Every our Right Worshipful and Loving Breth- 
ren, Tree and Accepted Masons now residing or that may 
hereafter Reside in Sherburne in the County of Nantucket 
in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. 
We John Rowe Esquire, Provincial Grand Master of the 
Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Ma- 
sons for all North America, where no other Grand Master is 

I Send Greeting. 

Whereas Application hath been made unto us by several 
Brethren Free and Accepted Masons now residing a-f Sher- 
burne aforesaid ; setting forth that they think it their indis- 
pensable Duty to propagate the Royal Art with all the 
Strictness and Regularity that becomes Masons of a just and 
perfect Lodge; that they shall always use their best Endeav- 

ours to promote so laudable a Society when it is Established 
in clue form : Therefore Tray that we would Constitute the in 
into a Regular Lodge, and appoint our Brother Captain Will 
iam Brock to be their first Master. 


That We of the Great Trust, Power and Authority, reposed 
in us by Mis Grace the Most Worshipful Henry Somkkskt, 

Duke ot Beaufort, &c, Grand Master of Masons, have Con- 
stituted and Appointed our Right Worshipful and well beloved 
Brother Captain William Brock to be the first Master of the 
Lodge at Sherburne aforesaid, and do hereby impower him t«» 
Congregate the Brethren together, and form them into a Reg- 
ular Lodge, he taking special Care that all and ever)' Memlx'i 
thereof, and all transient Persons admitted therein have been, 
or shall be regular made Masons. And that he appoint two 
Wardens and other Officers to a Lodge Appertaining, tor the 
due Regulation of said Lodge for One Year: Lit the end ot 
which he shall Nominate a new Master to be approved by tin: 
Lodge, at least two-thirds of the Members in his favour, ant! 
and said new Master shall Nominate and Appoint two Wardens 
and a Secretary for the ensuing Year, also a Treasurer, who 
must have the Votes of two thirds of the Members in his 
favour; and so the same Course Annually. And vvk i>u 
hereby oivk to said Lodge ail the Privileges and Authority 
of other Regular Lodges ; Requiring them to observe all and 
every of the Regulations contained in the dinted Book of 
Constitutions (except such as may have been, or may be 
Repealed at any Quarterly Communication or other General 
Meeting of the Grand Lodge in London,) to be kept and ob- 
served, as also such other Rules and Instructions as may from 
Time to Time be transmitted to them by Us, or our LJeputy, 
or Successors to either for the Time being : And that 
they do Annually send an Account in Writing to Us, or out- 
Deputy, or Successors to either of Us for the Time being, of 
the Names of the Members of said Lodge, and their Place of 
Abode, with the Days and Place of Meeting, with any other 
things they may think proper to Communicate for the benefit 
of Masonry ; And that they do Annually keep the Feast of 
St. John the Baptist, or St. John the Evangelist, or both, and 
Dine together on said Day or Days, or as near either of them 
as shall be most convenient ; And lastly, that they do Regu- 
larly Communicate with the Grand Lodge in Boston, In- 
sending to the Quarterly Communication such Chanty as their 
Lodge shall think fit, for the Relief of Poor Brethren, with the 
Names of those that Contributed the same, tlytf in case any 
such may come to want Relief, they may have the preference 
to others. 

Given under Our Hand and Seal of Masonry at Boston 
the 27th Day of May, a: d. i 77 1 , and of Masonry 5771, 

Ricji'd Gkidlky, D. G. M., 
Jno. Cutler, S. G. W., 
Abk'm Savagkj J. G. W. 
By the Grand Master's Command, 

Tito: Brown, Gr. Sec'y. 

The record of the first communication of Union Lodge is of 
interest in this connection. It reads as follows : 

" Nantucket, New England, May 9, in the Year 1771. 
In our Lodge duly formed 

Brother William Brock, Master, 

" Joseph Dennison, Senior Warden, 
" Henry Smith, Junior Warden.* 

Proceeded as follows : 

Initiated Bro. Nathaniel Coffin, 
" Tristram Barnard, 
" Andrew Worth." 

The next meeting on record was held on the 15th of August 
following. At that time Brothers Samuel Barrett and George 
Ramsdell were initiated. In the interim between the two 
meetings the Charter probably had been received. The re- 
quirement of three Master Masons by the Most Worshipful 
Grand Lodge had been met in the persons of Worshipful 
Brothers William Brock, who served as Worshipful Master for 
the first year ; Brother Joseph Dennison, who was the first 
Senior Warden ; and Brother Henry Smith, who was the first 
Junior Warden. Who the other officers were does not appear 
from the records, nor is there any known way to ascertain 
their names. 

On receipt of its Charter the Lodge was fairly launched on 
its career of Usefulness. Besides the three already named, the 
following named Brethren appear on record as Charter Mem- 
bers : Nathaniel Coffin, Tristram Barnard, Andrew Worth, 

♦There is a striking instance of Masonic heredity in the family of 
Bro. Smith, who received his Degrees in Wapping Arms Lodge in Eng- 
land in 1756. His son, Francis, became a member of Urbanity Lodge; 
his grandson, Francis, was an honored member of Union Lodge, and his 
great grandson, Charles F., lias recently received his l)egrees"fn Monitor 
Lodge, Waltham. 

Samuel Barrett, George Ramsdell, Joseph Coffin, Jeremiah 
Huckman, Christopher Ilussey, Joshua Hunker, Jethro I his. 
sey, Soth Jenkins, Joseph liussey, John Sherman, George 

Calder, Paul Hussey, Thomas Worth, Nathaniel Kami, Shu- 
bael Worth, Shubael Folger, Nathaniel Barrett and William 

The question naturally arises, where were the first three 
Brethren made Masons ? As to Bro. Henry Smith, the first 
Junior Warden, the diploma now hanging on the walls of tin- 
Lodge room, an invaluable memento of the one to whom it 
was issued, shows that he was made a Mason at a Lodge held 
at the Dundee Arms, Wapping, London, England, March i$, 
1762.* Concerning Worshipful Brother Brock and Bro. Den- 
nison, I have as yet been unable to get any information, hut it 
is probable that they received their degrees either in England 
or in a Lodge in some seaport town where a Lodge had been 
established, and where they had been on business. The cus- 
tom of the day allowed extraordinary latitude in this respect, 
and the rigid rules regarding jurisdictions which have long 
prevailed, were of little or no force then, and we find that 
sojourning citizens from various parts of the country received 
their Degrees at the hands of the Brethren of Union Lodge in 
its early days.t 

The first codes of By-Laws of the Lodge, like those of man)' 
other Lodges of the day, were, in some particulars, quite 
unique. That there might be no excuse for an)' Brother's 
coming home to his\wife and family at midnight and attribut- 
ing his late hours to a protracted Lodge meeting) this article 
was adopted : — 

"Article III. — As nothing has a greater tendency to 
bring the Craft into disrepute than keeping late hours on Lodge 
nights, the Master shall be acquainted by the S. W. when it is 

* There is a record (See Proceedings of Gr. Lodge of Massachu- 
setts, 1733 to 1792, p. 423), that a Timothy Folger was present at the 
Feast of St. John the Baptist at the "King's Arms," Boston, with St. 
John's Grand Lodge in 1 70,;. It is probable it was Timothy of Nan- 
tucket. The custom of many Lodges in those days often was to open 
and transact general business on the Entered Apprentice" Degree. 

(/Brothers Elisha Smith and William Coffin were Raised in Smith 
Carolina; and Brothers Joseph Coffin 'and Christopher Worth were 
Initiated Entered Apprentices in the same State. 

ten o'clock from the first Monday in March to the first Mon- 
dy in September ; and when it is Nine o'clock from the first 
Mondy in September to the first Mondy in March, who shall 
immediately proceed to Close the Lodge ; and every Brother 
shall forthwith leave the Lodge Room— It is hoped and ex- 
pected that no Member will offend against this Law, calculated 
to secure the Honour and Reputation of this Lodge, to pre- 
vent uneasiness to our relatives & to preserve the Oconomy 
of Our Families." 

Article VIL. demanded and commanded that every Brother 
should practice out of the Lodge those great moral and social 
virtues inculcated in it, and provided that 

" Whereas, it is found expedient for the good order and 
decorum of this Lodge, that every Member belonging thereto, 
not only behave themselves upright and on the square in the 
Lodge, but also conduct themselves out of the Lodge as be- 
comes a good man and a Christian, Therefore if any Member 
bel nging to this Lodge, shall hereafter so behave himself, as 
to bring scandcl, or disreputation on the Craft, by leading a 
loose and disorderly life ; such Member so offending, shall be 
waited on by a Committee, to be appointed by the Lodge for 
that purpose, who sh all treat with him concerning his miscon- 
duct ; and if he will not satisfy said committee, they shall in- 
form him that he is to be admonished by the Master & 
Wardens in a Lodge duly formed ; which admonition shall be 
repeated three times ; and if he will not refrain his impru- 
dence, he shall be excluded the Lodge untill he makes due 

Article XVIII. was als .> of a disciplinary character, and was 
as follows : 

" That no Brotheil do presume to Swear in the Lodge or on 
any account call for w^ine or other liquors, but address himself 
to the stewards or wardens, who, if they think it necessary, 
will give their orders accordingly. That all Brethren do be- 
have themselves with decency to each other, and respect to 
the Master in the chair and presiding officers ; and in case of 
default in cither of these particulars, the Brother so offending 
shall forfeit the sum of two shillings to the fund of the 

* By-law V. provides that where not exceeding three black halls were 
cast, when balloting for a candidate, those casting them should inform 
the Investigating Committee so that the differences might be adjusted. 
If they failed to inform the Committee the ballot was declared unani- 


By the Charter it was obligatory on the Lcxlge to set aside 
a sum for charity, and on Oct. 7, 177 1, it was "Voted thai 
each member of this Society shall pay one shilling Law full 
Money into the Fund of Charity at every Quarterly Commu- 
nication." Votes relative to this matter of the Charity Fund 
were quite frequently passed. 

October 19, 1772, the Lodge petitioned the Most Worship- 
ful Grand Lodge to be registered on the Grand Lodge books by 
the name of Union Lodge No. 5, and at the Quarterly Commu- 
nication of January 29, 1773, the Grand Lodge " Voted Unani- 
mously that the Prayer of said Petition be granted." 

At the Quarterly Communication of the Most Worshipful 
Grand Lodge in April of the same year, a letter was read from 
Union Lodge by its Secretary, Brother Phineas Fanning/ in 
response to a request of the Grand Lodge for contributions to 
aid a Brother whose property had been destroyed by lire. 
Brother Fanning's letter said, in part : 

" The Remoteness of our Situation on an Island, & the Dif- 
ficulty of passing in Winter, we hope will be accepted as a 
sufficient Excuse for Non-attendance at the Grand Lodge 
according to Summons. ' 

Our Lodge is yet in its Infancy, the Members chiefly sea- 
men, and none of us blessed with a Fortune, our Lodge as yet 
not properly settled, furnished &c &c Insomuch that it is out 
of our Power (at present) to transmit anything to the Grand 
Fund, but humbly hope that Maturity and the united Efforts' 
of our greatest Abilities will, in a short Time enable us liber 
ally to contribute thereto. 

The calamitous Circumstances of Bro. Russell we look upon 
well worthy of the immediate Commiseration & Assistance of 
every tender hearted and good Mason ; have therefore voted 
the Sum of £6 to the Relief of our sd. unfortunate Bro. and 
the same transmitted to you pr the Bearer hereof, Mr. Josp'h 
Roby. * * * 

* Do us the Honour to Believe that ever(y) Member of 
this Lodge has the Honour of Masonry at Heart and will on 
all Occasions exert his utmost Faculties to promote the Royal 

A little later on Philip Bass applied to Union Lodge for 
assistance. As he was a resident of Boston or vicinity the 
Brethren of Nantucket thought his application should have the 
endorsement of the Grand Lodge, and Secretary Fanning so 

Phineas Fanning married Kezia Coffin, daughter of Kezia. 



informed the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, who agreed 
with the principle, but added " if a Brother is known to be 
needy and worthy it lays with the Lodge appealed to to take 
action." The Brethren of Union Lodge at once replied, in- 
closing £$* for Bro. Bass and £6 for the Charity Fund, the 
letter being so full of the true spirit of the Craft, that, by order 
of the Grand Lodge, the correspondence was made a matter of 
re cord. t 

December 27, 1773, ^ ie Lodge celebrated the Feast of St. 
John the Evangelist, in accordance with the requirements of 
the Charter. 

September 5, 1774, the Lodge voted that Fellow Crafts 
could be made members, unless they signified to the contrary. 
This seems to have been in accordance with the general lack 
of system common to the majority of Lodges about this time, 
and continuing for many years, resulting in a relaxation of the 
strict rules of Freemasonry. By the strict law of those days 
and by the invariable practice as well as law of today a Mem- 
ber of a Lodge must be a Master Mason ; careful attention 
must be observed that the Lodge acting has jurisdiction over 
a candidate ; business can be transacted in the Lodge only 
when it is open on the Master Mason's Degree ; but one 
Degree could be conferred on a candidate without an inter- 
vening period of a calendar month, save by Dispensation ; and 
but five candidates were allowed to receive a Degree in one 
day ; but the practice of that day, and even up to a compara- 
tively recent period, had become too lax, and the contrary 
action was frequent. Indeed, it was only so late as 1864 that 
the law regarding limiting the number of candidates to five for 
a Degree on one day was rigidly enforced. 

On December 28, 1774, Brother Christopher Hussey, Jr., 
Secretary, wrote to the Right Worshipful Grand Secretary : 

" I am directed agreeable to our Deputation to inform the 
Right Worshipful! the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge, 
that in our Lodge preceding the Celebration of the Feast of 
St. John the Evangelist, we proceeded to the Election of Offi- 
cers for the Year ensuing ; when we made Choice of the Fol- 

* As only the sum of ^3 14s. was collected for Bro. Bass and one 
other at the meeting of the Grand Lodge Dec. 27, 1773, the contribution 
of Union Lodge was more than creditable. 

t Proceedings of Grand Lodge 1 733—1792, p. 207. 


lowing, viz't R. W. B. Timothy Folger Esq. Master, W. Bo. 
Christopher Hussey Sen'r Treasurer ; and George Calcler, S. 
W., John Bearde, J. W. Nath'l Barrett, S. D., John Gardner, 
J. D., and Silvanus Pinkham and Jonathan Jenkins, Stewards. 

On the 27th of Decemb'r we met at the Lodge Room to 
celebrate the Feast of St. John, from whence we proceeded in 
Procession to the Rev'd Mr. Shaw's Meeting House, where 
the Beauties of Masonry, the infinite Profit & Advantage of 
Brotherly Love & Unity, were learnedly, elegantly & politely 
displayed in a Sermon, to a numerous and respectable Audi- 
ence, by our Brother Zebulon Butler,* the Subject whereof he 
made, Psalm 133d, Verse 1st, " Behold how good and how 
pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in Unity." We 
then proceeded to a convenient place, where we dined together 
as Brethren ; from whence we walked back to the Lodge Room 
in Masonic Procession ; the whole conducted with the great- 
est order, decency & propriety. 

We have opened a Subscription for the Grand Fund of 
Charity, but by reason of the precariousness of the Times have 
thought proper to desist from collecting any money on that 
head for the present. The Grand Lodge may be assured 
of the exertion of the utmost of our Abilities to further all 
such noble and generous Designs. 1 am also directed to in- 
form you the number of our Members is Sixty-five ; which 
increase very fast. God grant that neither Ambition, Lust of 
Power, Faction, Discontent or any other Offspring of the fatal 
Enemy of Masons may prevail to disunite the Hearts of Breth- 
ren, or prevent the increase of Unity, Love and Concord 
amongst us, or in any other manner abate the Ardour, with 
which I am your Affectionate Brother & hum'l Servant. 

By order of the Right Worshipfull Master and Brethren, 
Christopher Hussey, Jun'r Sec'y. 

P. S. the R. W. and Brethren doth request the favour of 
your inserting our Procession &c in the News Papers." 

A regular attendance at the communications of the Lodge, 
always enjoined on all Freemasons, was particularly impressed 
in the early days of the Lodge, and we rind by the records of 
August 7, 1775, tnat lt was " Voted that Broth 'r Win. Brock, 
Sam'l Barrett & Chris'r Hussey be a Committee to Talk with 
Bro Seth Jenkins and no the Reason, if he hath any, for Ab- 
senting himself so long from the Lodge, and make their 
Report next Lodge night." At the following meeting Bro 
Jenkins was reported to still hold "himself a member with a 
Sincear Respect to the Craft and is Redy at all times to pay 
up his arrears." 

* Rev. Bro. Butler is described in the record as " Presbyterian.' 


November 6, 1775, it was " Voted that Bro Josiah Coffin 
and Christ. Husseyjr Doath purchase for the Lodge use a y A 
Cask of good Tenerife Wine." In December it is recorded 
that Bro. Benjamin Bunker presented the' Lodge with " two 
Complet Ivory Tipt Roles and one Ivory Mallet." These 
probably were the gavel of the Master and the truncheons of 
the Wardens. 

The Feast of St. John, the Evangelist, was observed on De- 
cember 27th of that year with a dinner at Bro. Josiah Coffin's 
at an expense of three shillings and sixpence each. The guests 
on that occasion, as recorded, were " Rev. Mr Shaw, Mr Jo- 
siah Coffin Esq'r, Ebenz'r Calef Esq, Mr. Geo Ilussey, Mr. 
Jona Coffin, Mr Edward Cary, and Capt llinmon from ye 
W. Indies." 

At a Communication held April 1, 1776, it was " Voted that 
the word Intoxicated in the Article 19 in Book By Laws 
should be eraist out — and to Enact, and that no Bro should 
Presume to swear in the Lodge." It is a little uncertain 
whether our ancient Brethren thought swearing a greater 
offence than intoxication, or whether they believed there was 
little danger that a Brother would so far forget the duty he 
owed himself and the Lodge as to over-indulge in stimulants. 

Cases of discipline were frequent. When Brethren had any 
serious differences the matters were frequently referred to the 
Lodge for settlement, and often were harmoniously and satis- 
factorily adjusted. 

July 9, 1776, it was voted to attend the funeral of Brother 
Jethro Coffin " their to form & walk two by two in Brotherly 
Respect to the Deceased." This is the first record in the 
Lodge of a Masonic funeral. 

By the latter part of 1776, we may conclude, from the rec- 
ord, the strain of privation because of the War began to show 
itself, as December 27th of that year a Committee was ap- 
pointed to inquire " if their is any Bro's wife or family that 
wants any Releafe." 

There are several instances recorded in which the Lodge 
voted to invest its funds in speculative ventures. Feb. 3d, 
1777, a Committee was appointed to send ^20 "by several Ves- 
sells over the Sea in Adventure for the Benefit of this Lodge 
as they should think expedient." August 4, 1777, it was 
voted to invest the funds in Boston " in one or more of the 


Loan Office Tickets." February 27, 177S, it was voted to 
send a sum to the West Indies by Brother Jona. Pinkliam "as 
an Adv'r for this Lodge." 

The Lodge believed in practice as well as in preaching', as 
for instance on April 7, 1777, when a Committee was ap- 
pointed on the petition of two French gentlemen (" Both Fel- 
lows of the Royal Craft "), mechanics, for assistance in getting 
a building for their work, and patronage. 

May 4. 1778, " Voted that the secretary Doath wrighl a 
Letter in the Behalf of ye Lodge to Bro Nath Barber Jr in 
Boston to procure a man for the Releaf of Bo Andrew Brock 
now Prisncr in New York." 

In the fall of 1778, the danger of hostile incursions became 
so imminent that on October 5 it was " Voted, their he a Com- 
mittee of 3 Brothers viz. Bros Robert Folger, Bro Paul Pink- 
ham & Obed Bunker are Chosen to take ye Greatest care of 
the Chest of this Lodge & the furniture of ye same in case the 
Enemy is in sight of us Hear." 

October 14, was " Voted that their be a Letter 
wrote Down to Boston, to sum friend to liberte our Brothers 
being now in Captivity on board ye Prison Shipp in New 
York." It is evident that passive Masonry had no place in 
the hearts of the older Brethren of Union Lodge — they be- 
lieved it was " the friend in need " who was "the friend in- 

April 15, 1779, another Committee was appointed to take 
charge of the furniture " in case the enemy came." About 
this time several Brethren demitted as they were about to re- 
move from the island. 

The distinction in value between specie and paper money is 
apparent in the vote passed December 5, 1779, " that we dine 
on St. John's Day at Mr Ichabod Aldridges with paying 15 
Paper Dolls, each, we finding our own Liquors for that use if 
ye have any." At the' Feast on December 27, 1780, the price 
paid for similar entertainment was 4 shillings pence hard 

It is evident that when the invasion of the Town by the 

* One kind of money seems to be described in the records as " Jibb 
hanks." It probably has reference to the nautical term, but in what was 
the similarity, and what was the value ? 

I s 

Enemy came the Committee was vigilant, for at the Commu- 
nication of December 5, 1779, the bill of Brothers Joseph and 
James Coffin of i 5 paper dollars for bringing the Lodge's chest 
from O aaise was ordered to be paid." 

*The records of the Society of Friends show that the following 

named Brethren were "disowned": — 

David Coffin, Jr., in 1780, for going to sea in a prize vessel. 

Jonathan Cartwright, in 1780, for going to sea in an armed vessel. 

Simeon Folger, in 1780; for going to sea in an armed vessel. 

Ko&crt Folger, in 1782,101- going to sea with guns. 

Reuben Gardner, Jr., in 1778, for going to sea in a prize vessel. 

Alexander Gardner, Jr., in 1782, armed vessel. 

Paul llussey, in 1778, for going to sea in an armed vessel. 

Reuben Slarbuek, in 1781, for being with armed men. 

The meagreness of records makes the task of determining who ot 
Nantucket were on America's side during the Revolution exceedingly 
difficult. Enough is known, however, to show that large numbers of them 
were taken prisoners by the English and many were adherents of the of the Colonies. The following facts have been ascertained 
regarding the brethren of Union Lodge: William Ramsdell was mate of 
the armed brigantine Lucy ; George Bunker was captured by an English 
privateer and confined on the Jersey prison ship ; Benjamin Bunker was 
a prisoner on the same ship ; John Pinkham, Jethro llussey and Capt. 
Benj. Hunker were threatened with capture by the English and lied to a 
house out of town, armed to defend themselves; Capt. William Mooers 
was taken prisoner; Levi Gardner and William Cartwright were prison- 
ers in New York on II. M.Ship Eagle ; Capt. Raul llussey was commis- 
sioned Commissary of Prisoners by the Council of Massachusetts Bay, 
August 16, 1777, and went to New York in the schooner Speedwell and 
effected the exchange of 25 American prisoners, among whom were the 
following members of Union Lodge : Henry Tracy and El i as Coffin ; 
Capt', Timothy Folger and three others were bearers of important dis- 
patches in 1776; Levi Gardner and William Cartwright were prisoners 
in New York in 1777 on II. M. Ship Eagle ; in the list of those who 
loaned money to the government between 1777 and 1779, compiled by 
Mrs. Belle M. Draper, appear the names of Samuel Barrett, John Water- 
man and Shubael Worth ; in the list published as part of the Third 
Report of the D. A. R. (56th Cong. Sen. Doc. 219) appear the names of 
Benjamin Barnard, Jr., Nathaniel Barrett, Matthew Baird, George Bun- 
ker, Joshua Bunker, George Calder, Jonathan Cartwright, Richard 
Chadwick, Jonathan Colesworthy, Benjamin Chase, Timothy Folger, Reu- 
ben Gibbs, Christopher llussey, Christopher llussey, Jr., Joseph llussey, 
Daniel Kelly, Josiah Marshall, Jethro Myrick, John Pirkham, Jonathan 
Pinkham, Paul Pinkham, Henry Smith, Thomas Snow and David 
Squire ; in the list of names published by authority of Abiah Franklin 
Chapter, D. A. R., in 1897, of those whose descendants were eligible to 
that society appear in addition the names of Benjamin Bunker, Joseph 


There can be no doubt as to the patriotism of the Fraternity 
in Nantucket during- the troublous times of the Revolution 
when it required courage for those so situated to be patriotic. 
On January 5, 1781 , we find it recorded that the Lodge drank 
a toast " to his Excilancy Geo Washington Grand Master of 
America. "' At that time the Lodge met in Brother Jethro 
Hussey'* chambers. Where the first meetings were held is 
largely a matter of conjecture. Brother Henry Paddack says 
he was told by some of the older members, now passed away, 
that the Lodge met for a while in the house, recently torn 
down, which stood in Brock's Court, in what is known as 
Egypt. This building was formerly known as the " Arthur" 
house, but several years ago was remodelled by Mr. Thomas 
B. Field, into a mill, and latterly was known as the " Thomas 
B. Field Mill." The Lodge also met in a house which stood 
in the narrow way called Coal Lane, between Union and South 
Water streets, and just east of the office of the Wannacomet 
Water Co. 

February 6, 1782, it is recorded " Went through the open- 
ing of the Lodge from an a prentice to a master in the 
new forme which is practised by sending up ye word Gripp & 
sign to Each steep to ye master." 

During the early part of the year there had been some dis- 
turbance in the friendly relations existing between Brother 
Nathaniel Coffin and Worshipful Brother Timothy Folger, and 
the Lodge had been called on several times to adjudicate the 
difficulty. It evidently had become somewhat of a tax on the 
patience of the Brethren, for on August 7, 1782, they " Voted 
that the matter of Difference of Dispute in accts betwixt Brs 
Coffin & Folger be never more Laid before this Lodge after 
this ; as the Lodge thinks they have done all they could con- 
sistant to order the same." 

On April 7, 1783, it was voted that visitors withdraw "when 

Coffin, Nathaniel Coffin, Elias Coffin, James Chase 2d, John Gardner, 
Thomas Gardner, Jr., Jethro Hussey, Christopher Hussey,Selh Jenkins, 
John Ramsdell, David Ray, Christopher Worth and Andrew Worth. 

Information regarding the War of 1812 is more meagre yet. The 
sloop Yankee, Capt. Paddack, was taken by the English and recaptured 
by Capt. Daniel Hussey. Charles Hilburn, the pilot on the Prince of 
Neufchatel, was the first one of her crew killed in her light with the 
British frigate Endymion in 1814. 


any Business concerning this Lodge or any member is call'd 
in question. * * * Except it be by a Dispensation by the 
master & two thirds of the members present." 

The record of September i, 1783, says : " The Committee 
chosen Last Setting to Treat w'h Br Wm Worth, report that 
the Adv'r which Br Worth Carred out was Laid out in Hour 
& was Taken & Lost." 

On July 2, J 787, it was " Voted that there be a Flagg made 
fur the Lodge use to be hoisted on Lodge days on Top o! the 
House where the Lodge is held." 

"Voted a Committee to git the above Flagg made at ye 
Lodge Kxpence & to there best judgement. Bros William 
Collin, Christ'r llussey, Abner Coffin, assisted by Joseph Col- 
lin & Zebulon Butler to Compleated by next mo &, sett the 
day before Lodge Night." 

August 6, J 7^7, it is recorded : " The Flagg made & sett 
this Day for the intended purpass of notifying- the Br ihers 
that it is Lodge Night." 

At the Feast of St. John, December 27, 1787, Mrs. Mar- 
garet Coffin furnished the dinner at 2 shillings each; iS 
Brothers and 4 visitors dined. 

April 2, 1792, the Lodge elected to receive the Degrees 
" Ldw'd D. Burke a schoolmaster from Ireland, Residing in 
this Town at present." 

Illustrative of the custom of this time to take candidates ir- 
respective of residence, as well as of a departure from the 
strict practice of today as to payment for the Degrees the rec- 
ord of August 6, 1792, may be cited. It says : " A candidate 

Mr. is Postponed from this Night to Lo«>k into 

his caractcr, if found good & he will call a Lodge at his Ex- 
pense to be at Voted the Sectary Looks into the above candi- 
date & proceeds according as he may find either calls ye Lodge 
or let it pass & to see his Spirrits be good. which he offers in 
pay for his Initiation."* 

The occasional entry on the records of the purchase oi 
" skins far aprons " shows our ancient Brethren bought the 
lamb-skins whole and made their aprons from them, instead of 
purchasing them all made, as is the present practice. 

March 4, 1793, the Lodge impowered Brother Benjamin 

* Masonic law of today requires cash in hand rather than promissory 
notes or barter. 



Walcutt to purchase of Alexander Gardner his new store on 
the best terms for the Lodge. Arrangements were made by 
which the Lodge purchased the building, paying $200 on the 
delivery of the deed, and $200 annually until $400 and inter- 
est were paid. This store, Brother Paddack says, was located 
on Washington street, near the site now used as a stable.' 

April 1, 1793, the Lodge voted to have an Iron Stove for the 
new Lodge room, and July 1 met in its new quarters fur the 
first time. September 2 it was " Voted that the Lodge 
should pay unto Bo Jethro Hussey six Dollars for his Labour 
the Lodge Chamber all around ye Room in 
as high up as is Necessary & as soon as he- 
con veniantly can Compleat s'd Work & the Taper to be on 
before ye next Lodge." 

December 4, 1793, the Lodge passed a vote of thanks " to 
Bro'l Barker Jr for a pair of Decanters & a straw of 
Glasses." On the 27th of the sime month it was " Voted, the 
Thanks of ye Lodge to b^ Return W to Mr Ldw'd Car)- by Ho 
Sam'l Barrett, for a stick of Timber for the Billows i>i s'd 
Lodge." To those not familiar with Masonic nomenclature it 
may be explained that what is meant is the three pillars of the 
Lodge at the stations of the Master and Wardens. 

June 2, 1794, the Lodge passed unanimously a vote of thanks 
<: to Brother Timothy Horsefield for a Generous Present of a 
Fountain Lamp." 

September 7, 1795, the Secretary was instructed to .send to 
Philadelphia or New York for an iron stove, without pipe, and 
about the size of the present one. This stove was delivered 
and installed in time for the November communication. We 
may perhaps infer that stoves were not in such demand at that 
time as to warrant any merchant in keeping any considerable 

The Brethren continued to keep diligent watch that those 
things which were intended for the purposes of refreshment 
were not converted into vehicles of intemperance and excess, 
and November 2, 1795, a Committee was appointed to confer 

with Bro. " respecting his misconduct in abusing 

himself with making use two freely of Strong Drink." At the 

* There was a store on the ground floor, occupied at various times 
by Albeit Gardner, Timothy Horsfield, Thomas Coffin, Jr., Micaiah 
Coffin & Sons, and again by Timothy Horsfield. 


communication of December 14, the Brother denied that he 
was intoxicated, but was " taken with cramp & could prove it " 
to the satisfaction of the Committee. If anyone lias fondly 
imagined that suggestion was a recent invention the records 
of Union Lodge prove its use over a century ago. Verily, 
" there is nothing new under the sun." 

July 4, 1796, it is recorded that the Lodge paid Brother John 
Pinkham for " bill for the Officers Ribbons," ^4. 18.0. These 
probably were the regalia collars for the officers. November 
7 of the same year it was " Voted the Thanks of the Lodge to 
Bro'r Wilson Rawson for a hansom Cup presented this Night 
by him with the mason's Armes on it." At the Feast of St. 
John the Evangelist that year the dinner was served in the 
Lodge room by Mrs. Lydia Long, formerly the Widow Cole- 
man, at 6 shillings each. The oration was delivered in the 
Presbyterian meeting-house by Brother Leonard, and it was 
voted to have the address printed.* 

Union Lodge was not exempt from the exceeding ill-feeling 
and acrimony stirred up over the robbery of the Nantucket 
Bank, and which so thoroughly permeated insular life for many 
years, but prompt and diplomatic measures were taken to sup- 
press any participation of the Lodge as an organization in any 
part of the unfortunate affair, for in January, 1797, in the mat- 
ter of a complaint of Brother Jethro Hussey against Brother 
Abner Coffin, it is recorded that " The Committee reports that 
they have treated with the above named Brothers & heard all 
that could be said by them on the subject. We cannot think 
that this Lodge hath anything to do with disputes on Bank 

April 5, 1797, a Committee was appointed to "Treat with 
Bro Sam'l Calder who has Lately come to the Island from his 
Captivity " and see if he needs relief. 

The record of September 4, 1797, says : " A Letter from 
Bro Paul Rever of Boston dated 27 Angus informing us of our 
situation in the Grand Lodge as being Look on as a Clandes- 
tine Lodge by us Held, by not acting consistent to the Regu- 
lations of the G. Lodge, the above Letter was Read to ye 
Lodge & under consideration Voted for the Secretary to Right 
Bro Paul Revear on the Receipt of his Letter informing him 

*One hundred and fifty copies were printed, of which Rev. Bro- 
Leonard received roo and the Lodge 50. 


that further Order will be taken "by the Lodge hereafter. 

Voted a committee to Look into the above Letter and to 
frame an answer for the purpass to be sent forward to the 
Grand Lodge, after the approbation of ye Lodge next month.* 

On October 2, the Committee reported a letter saying in 
substance that Union Lodge did not care " to beeome a part 
of the Grand Lodge for a Number of Reasons to us." This 
letter was read twice and then ordered to be sent. 

Jhiefly stated, this was the situation : St. John's„Grand 
Lodge, under which Union Lodge was chartered, was insti- 
tuted in 1733, under authority of the Grand Lodge of England. 
An unfortunate, and for a time a serious, schism arose among 
the Masons of the Mother country soon after 1750, the seced- 
ers Claiming a more strict adherence to the old landmarks and 
calling themselves Ancient Masons, and terming the adherents 
of the parent Lodge Moderns. In this country the sympathiz- 
ers with the so-called Ancients organized the Massachusetts 
Grand Lodge in 1769, under authority of the Grand Lodge of 
Scotland. The lines between the rival Grand Lodges in the 
Colony of the Massachusetts Bay were sharply drawn, and for 
a long time they refused to have any intercourse with each 
other. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary War the 
desirability of having but one Grand Lodge became so appar- 
ent that in 1792 the union of the two was effected, under the 
name of "The Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient & Hon'ble 
Society of Free & Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts." Our Most Worshipful Brother l'aul 
Revere, before the union, was a prominent member of the 
Massachusetts Grand Lodge, and it seems quite evident that 
the feeling against that Grand Lodge and its adherents was a 
long time in subsiding with the Brethren of Union Lodge. 

Those Lodges that did not view with favor the union natu- 
rally were lax in paying their dues, and in June, 1793, the 
Grand Secretary was directed to write to those Lodges that 
were in arrears and impress upon them the necessity o\~ imme- 
diate payment. September 9, 1795, a Committee was appointed 

* Several Falmouth Brethren desired a Warrant for a Lodge, and, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Grand Constitutions, asked the 
recommendation of Union Lodge. The Nantucket Brethren declined to 
acton account of their non-affiliation with the Grand Lodge, and sent a 
letter to the Falmouth Brethren explaining the situation. 


to write to the Lodges that were still delinquent, and inform 
them that any Lodge not represented in the (hand Lodge and 
in arrears more than twelve months shall have no Masonic 
standing in the Commonwealth, 'this, of course, carried with 
it the deprivation of any right to visit or to he visited, and 
virtually was Masonic excommunication. On March 13,1797, 
three Lodges still holding aloof, the Grand Lodge, with an 
extreme leniency, " Voted that a Committee he appointed to 
write to the Lodges held at Marblehead, Nantucket and 
Truro." The Committee appointed were the Most Worship- 
ful Grand Master, Paul Revere, and Brothers Dunn, Dennie 
and Edwards. Evidently it was this letter that was referred 
to in the records of Union Lodge of September 4 and Octo- 
ber 2. 

September 13, 1797, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge 
passed this vote : "The Grand Lodge will not hold Communi- 
cation or correspondence with or admit as Visitors any Masons 
residing in this State * * * who do not by their Repre- 
sentatives, communicate, and pay their Dues to this Grand 

Whether the various means of lighting the apartments had 
proved unsatisfactory or not is uncertain, but August 15, 1798, 
it was voted to put ventilators in the east side of the Hall 
chamber, and to fix the windows to chop two or three inches on 
the west and north sides, and September 3 it was "Voted That 
the Lodge is for the filter supployed with spalm candles." 

In 1799 some of the Brethren appear to have been imbued 
with a spirit of frivolity which the majority did not approve, 
for October 7 of that year the Lodge "Voted that the Hall be 
made no use of for any other purpose but for Masonry." 

Trie following interesting vote is recorded under date of 
January 6, 1800, "A Committee of 5 Brothers to strike out 
some mode a shewing a Respect to our Deceas'd Bro Gen'l 
Geo Washington & to report on ye adjournment for approba- 
tion," Bros. William Coffin, Benjamin Wallcut, Wilson Raw- 
son, Edward Cary, Jr;, and Josiah Coffin, Esq., were appointed. 
There is no way of knowing what the report was, for it is 
not on record, but on the following evening it was read and 
amended by adding that besides putting the Master's chair in 
mourning, those of the Wardens should also be draped, at the 
expense of the Lodge ; "and that Each Brother to have his own 


Expellee of Dicoration." On the same evening it was "Voted 
that the Eye he painted over the West Doar and the words 
set in Lattin, God said let there be Light and there was 
Light." The Lodge continued in mourning until April. 

September 7, 1801, " Voted the Thanks of the Lodge to our 
absent Bro'r Henry Barnard for two Cream Collard Pitchers 
Lettered Nantucket Union Lodge No, 5 sent to us." 

At this date the differences with the Grand Lodge had not 
yet been harmonized; Some further communication must 
have been received by our Nantucket Brethren, but what it 
was does not appear either by the records of the Grand Lodge 
or those of Union Lodge. Under date of November 2, 1901, 
we find the following recorded by the local body — "This Lodge 
is clos'd to thursday night next for the purpass of investigat- 
ing the matter on the Grand Lodge Regulations." At the 
meeting on Thursday evening it was " Voted, that we come 
under the direction & inspection of the Grand Lodge in Bos- 
tori, Voted a Committee of 3 Brothers viz William Coffin, 
Benj'n Walcutt & Edw'd Gary Jr is the committee to Draw a 
Letter to said Grand Lodge the same to be Deliv'd & carred 
Forw'd by Bro Benj'n Wallcutt and to see what is Necessary 
to be done for this union Lodge No. 5, coming under the di- 
rection of ye G'd Lodge." On the 27th of the same month 
the Lodge heard the report of its Committee and directed the 
Secretary to send a list of the officers and the number of mem- 
bers to the Grand Lodge. 

The records of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge f.*r De- 
cember 14, 1801, say: "A petition from the Officers and Mem- 
bers of Union Lodge No. 1 at Nantucket, under a Charter 
granted by the M. Worshipful John Rowc, former Grand 
Master — was prcfer'd to this Grand Lodge for a Union there- 
with by submitting to its Jurisdiction — and also praying that 
their Charter may be endorsed confirming the sane : The 
meritts and design of the same being fairly discussed & mate- 
rially consider'd it was— ^ Voted — unanimously to grant the 
prayer of the Petitioners." Thus after nearly ten years so- 
journing in the Wilderness the Brethren again were gathered 
into the Promised Land. At its Communication of February 
18, 1802, Union Lodge passed a vote of thanks to Brother 
Samuel W. Hunt for his assistance in getting the Charter en- 
dorsed by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, and appointed 


him Proxy to represent the Lodge at the Communications of 

the Grand Lodge, and on March 8, Hro. Hunt was formally 
recognized as such at the Quarterly Communication of the 
Grand body. In that capacity he presented at that time a 
petition from the Brethren of Union Locgc, "praying that the 
name of that Lodge, latelv designated by the (hand Master as 
No. [ may be changed to No. 5," which prayer was granted.* 

On March 13, 1802, the Lodge "Voted that we purchase 
the piece of land between Esq's JIammatts & Doct Gelston's 
houses, belonging to Win. Rotch, for which he asks $1200." 
It was also voted to build a Mason's hall on the said land. 
This was the location just west of the Pacific Bank building, 
and the building now standing there is the one which was 
erected. On the 24th of June following, at \2 o'clock Noon, 
the Lodge laid the corner-stone for the new building with 
appropriate Masonic services, and following the ceremony 
forty-two Brethren observed the day, which was the anniver- 
sary of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, with a dinner, t 

December 27, 1802, the Lodge marched to the Congrega- 
tional meeting-house, where a sermon was preached by Rev. 
James Gurney, which proved so satisfactory that, on February 
10 following, the Lodge voted to present him a "beaver hatt 
for his services on the 27th of December Last." 

* It is not clear at this time why Union Lodge was numbered 1, as 
there were several which had precedence in age, at least nine in Massa- 
chusetts under the united Grand Lodges. In September (10) 1 So j , how- 
ever, at a Quarterly Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand 
Lodge, a Committee reported that on account of great inconveniences 
having asisen through numerical arrangement of Lodges, " that all Num- 
bers now existing in the designation of Lodges shall be abolished." 
This report was unanimously accepted. 

t Those present were " R. W. Master James Coffin, Sen'r Warden 
Richard Cary, Jun'r Wdn. Sam'l Cary, Treas. Wm. Coffin, Seer. Peter 
Hussey, Sen'r Deacon Benj'n Brown, Jun'r Deacon John Hammatt, 
Stewards John Pinkham & John Gardner, Tyler John Bunker, Robert 
Folger, David Worth, David Swain, John Monroe, Abisha Lumbert, 
Nicholas Meader, Nath'l Barrett, E. Cary, Jun'r, Uriah Bunker, John 
Brown, Win. Brown, Shubael Coffin, Zophcr Hayden, Andrew Coleman, 
Timo Folger, John Brock, Jr., Daniel Allen, Hugh Wyer, Josiah Coffin, 
Jethro Hussey, Jonathan Mooers, Able Rawson, John Pitch, Henry 
Riddle, Hoziah Roberts, Sam'l Barker, John Allen, Ben]. Coffin, Caleb 
Bunker, Benj'n Slade, Josiah Barker. Jun'r, Joseph C. Smith." The new 
hall was insured for $1200. In the records of the early part of 1804a 
Mr. Buel and Bro. Josiah Clarke are spoken of as schoolmasters. 


The records of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge for De- 
cember 10, 1804, show that Union Lodge was in the 12th 
Masonic District, and that Right Worshipful William Coffin 
was commissioned its first District Deputy Grand Master. 

November 4, 180$, it was " Voted that the Image on top of 
the Hall be painted & where the water Issues through be put- 
ted ;" also voted " the Corner stone be removed out into full 
View." On the 21st of the same month it was voted to have 
Rev. Mr.. Gurney preach the sermon on St. John's day, and to 
have musrc in the procession, if any could be had ; also to have 
a new carpet painted.* On St. John's day, Rev. Mr. Gurney, 
then Rev. Brother Gurney, preached the sermon. Members 
of Washington Remembered Lodge of Now Bedford, which 
was instituted the previous summer, were present by invitation, 
and the dinner was participated in by sixty-five Brethren. 

There seems about this time to have arisen a question as to 
whether candidates in taking the obligations must be sworn, 
or could be allowed to affirm. The Grand Lodge records of 
March 10, 1806, referring to this subject, say : "Amotion was 
brought forward by R. W. Henry M. Lisle, to ascertain this 
question, "Whether an affirmation by that part of Society 
which profess the Religion of the Quakers, or Friends, if to be 
admitted into a Lodge, would be conceived by the Gel. Lodge 
equal to the Oaths & Obligations usually administer'd at a 
Making, which after much Conversation and canvassing was 
Concluded to be equally so ; but for reasons adduced, it was on 
motion Voted, to be most eligible to refer the Subject, for 
farther consideration, to the newt O'y Communication." June 
9 it was voted to submit the question to " M. W. Timothy 
Bigelow, R. W. Simon Elliot, and such of the R. W. District 
Deputy Grand Masters as can be most readily consulted, and 
that they Report to the Grand Lodge — soon as may be." At 
the Quarterly Communication September 8 the following- 
action was taken : " In pursuance of a vote of the G\l Lodge 
at the last O'y Communication submitting the Question to his 
decision, it pleased the M. W. (Ld Master to give his Opinion 
— that with respect to such Candidates, for Initiation and 
other Degrees, as have conscientious Scruples about taking 
an Oath the act of Affirmation is equally Valid as Swearing, in 

* Referring to what is Masonically known .is die "Master's Carpet," 


receiving the Obligations of Masonry." There were very few 
Lodges in Massachusetts affected by this decision, none to 
anything like the degree that Union Lodge was. 

May 5, 1806, the Lodge "Voted, their be a Committee of 
five to looke into the business respecting Br Chris Folgers 
confinement in France & see what measures will be best to 
procure his Liberty." "Voted 13 r Wm Coffin, Rich'd Cary, 
James Gurney, Jethro Ilussey & Benj Bunker be of this Com- 
mittee." "Voted, the Committee above proceed with Br 
Peleg Bun\er as with Br Folger." 

In November of the same year some kind friend or Brother 
presented the Lodge with a chandelier to take the place "of 
Lam}) now hanging." 

The boys of the day must in their generation have been quite 
as mischievous as those of the present, for on December 4, 
1806, it was " Voted that Mr Ebnr Fitch be Requested t<> take 
Care of the Boys on St. John's (.lay." 

The question of refreshments was one which seemed to be a 
source of considerable anxiety. In accordance with the almost 
universal custom of the time, some kind of spirituous liquor 
usually formed a portion of the repast. The difficulty arose 
mainly fro u the tendency of a few to indulge themselves be- 
yond the point of temperance. In 1807, a Committee consist: 
ing of Right Worshipful John Brock, then District Deputy 
Grand Master, Rev. Brother James Gurney, Worshipful 
Brother Timothy Folger, Brother William Cobb and Woiship- 
ful Brother Peter Mussey, was appointed to consider the 
subject, and on March 5 they made their report, which recom- 
mended " Refreshments of wine, Spirits, Crackers and Cheese 
on Lach Regular Lodge Night, — any former Vote to the Con- 
trary notwithstanding ; each member to pay 25 cents each 
regular Lodge night ; each visiting Brother to pay 37>{> cents 
each night "provided they Stay at the Lodge untill Called from 
Labour to Refreshment"; no member or visitor to be admitted 
into the Steward's room (except the Stewards) "on any' pre- 
tence whatever." This report was accepted and adopted. 

June 1, 1807, the Lodge "Voted, that there be two paper 
blinds put at the North windows below." 

June 24. "Voted, that those gentlemen that' petitioned to 
meet at this Hall on the 4th of July to form their prossession 
be Admitted." 


September 7. Brother John Gardner was made the first 
Honorary Member. 

December 7, the Lodge refused for obvious reasons to allow 
an Evening School in the Hall. 

February 12, 1808, the Lodge voted to attend the funeral of 
their late Brother, Jethro Hussey, the following day. 

October 28, 1808, " Voted that there be no Song Sung in the 
Lodge on Lodge Meeting Except a Masonack Song." "Voted 
that there be three Books purchased for the use of the Lodge 
that Contains the best Selections of Masonac Songs." 

December 27, 1809, Rev. Brother Seth F. Swift delivered 
the address appropriate to the day in the " New South Con- 
gregational Meeting House.* It is recorded that after the 
exercises and dinner, the members "Sung a Song Told a Story 
and Injoyed our Selves with a glass of wine and a pipe of To- 
bacco, then Cal'd to Labour and Instol'd the officers." 

April 6, i'8io, Voted to allow the Committee of the New 
South Congregational Church the use of " the Lodge Room to 
Dine in on the Day that Brother Swift is ordained." 

The record of August 20, 18 10, has a particularly educational 
interest. On that occasion it was " Voted that the Report of 
the Committee that was chosen the Last Lodge Night t to 
draw up Sum plan Respecting the appropriation of the Schools 
Rooms be Accepted which is as follows, — that a Certain 
Number of Members of this Lodge has Subscribed to form an 
Assosiation to found a free Masons Schools the Rules of 
which is to be Sanctioned by the Lodge that it may be De- 
nomanated a free Masons School. Voted, that when the Asso- 
ciation has fixt on the Rules and Regulations of S'd School 
and have them Approbated by the Lodge then the Standing 
Committee that was Chosen to have the Care of Letting S'd 
Schools Rooms be Instructed to give the above Association 
the preference of s'd Rooms for the Same Rent as they are 

*Rev. Bro. Seth F. Swift was Raised Jan. i, 1810. The bill of fare 
on St. John's Day, 1809, was " Plum, Apple and plain puddings ; Baked, 
boiled and corned beef, legs of pork, Ham, Tongue, Roast Turkey, 
Ducks, chickens and Shoat; Vegetables and pickles suitable. Table 
drinks Beer and Cider." The expense was 5 shillings 6 pence each. 

t Bros. Seth F. Swift, Wm. Nichols, Wm. Coffin, John Brock, Jr., 
and Wyer Swain. 


Now Rented for Accept it Should be a Vote of the Lodge to 
alter." There is no further reference to this subject in the 
Lodge records, and we are left in the dark as to how the en- 
terprise terminated. 

December 27, 1810, the discourse was delivered by Brother 
Cyrus Peirce, the first High School teacher on Nantucket, and 
prayers were offered by Rev. Brothers Gurney and Swift. 
The dinner was furnished by Miss Ann Hatch at $1.00 each. 

Early in 181 1, it was voted that the Trustees of the School 
Room be allowed the use of the Hall for an exhibition Febru- 
ary 22. Whether this was commemorative of Washington's 
Birthday or merely a coincidence does not appear. 

August 5, 1811, a meeting was " Cal'd for the purpose of 
Granting a Donation to a brother mason by the Name of John 
Rose from Germany who petitioned on account of Relieving 
Sum Brother Masons in Algiers."* 

March 8, 1820, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Samuel 
P. P. Fay, in stating the condition of all the Lodges in the 
jurisdiction, said — " In the 12th Masonic District there are but 
two Lodges only, "Union" at Nantucket, and "King Solo- 
mons in Perfection " Holmes Hole, the former highly respect- 
able in its Character and punctual in all its engagements to the 
Grand Lodge." 

Soon after this, about 1827, the Anti-Masonic crusade began, 
occasioned by the always unexplained disappearance of a dis- 
solute man named Morgan. Nantucket did not escape that 
frenzy which drew into its vortex men of all classes and opin- 
ions, and which even became a dominating factor in partisan 
politics. Brother Samuel H. Jenks vigorously fought the cal- 

* Among the votes passed by the Lodge about this time was one in 
Dec. 6, 1813, for a Committee chosen to "have the Care of the School 
Rooms to Let them and Collect the Rent also to manage the Water 
Closet and have a Conductor in the Same." (This is noted as being 
an early use of this term.) Aug. 6, 1819, Recommendation for Seven 
Stars Lodge to be held at Edgartown. Dec. 6, 1819, Granting the 
use of the flail to the First Cong'l Society to dine in Dec. 15. 
Mar. 20, 1829, Leasing the East School Room to the Franklin School 
Assoc'n one quarter at #25 per year, Mar. 1, 1820, making Samuel H. 
Jenks a member "free of expense." Bro. Jenks had presented the Lodge 
with a portrait of Thomas S. Webb. 

The records mention Rev. Bro. John W. Hardy (Methodist) in 1818. 
Rev. Bro. Eph. Randall in 1819, and Rev. Nathan Brown Ashcroft being 
mentioned for the Degrees in 1820. 


umnious statements made against Freemasonry through the 
columns of the Nantucket Inquirer, but many a Lodge surren- 
dered its Charter, and many a timid Mason hid his colors when 
the storm raged most fiercely. For several years prior to 1832 
Union Lodge suffered a steady loss in its membership, although 
it continued to be represented in the Grand Lodge by its 
proxy, Right Worshipful Brother David Parker, of Boston.* 
For several years following 183 1 no District Deputy Grand 
Masters were appointed for several districts, among which was 
the 1 2th, in which Union Lodge was apportioned. March 5, 
1832, a proposition was made to amend the Lodge By-Laws so 
as to provide for quarterly instead of monthly Communica- 
tions. The following year, November 4, 1833, it was voted to 
"raise a committee to take into consideration the situation of 
the Lodge property, with liberty to take legal advice on the 
subject and report at some future meeting, and that the com- 
mittee be further authorized to recommend such disposition of 
the property as they may deem desirable." The Committee 
reported December 19 of the same year. What that report 
recommended cannot now be ascertained, but, whatever it was, 
it was rejected by a vote of 7 to 5, the smallness of the vote 
being an eloquent testimony of the extremity to which the 
Lodge was reduced in its membership. Continued attempts 
were made to arrange the Lodge's affairs to prepare for any 
possible contingency, and finally on the 8th of December, 1835, 
the real estate was conveyed conditionally to the Trustees of 
the Coffin 'School. At the same time the By-Laws were 
amended so to provide for annual Communications instead of 
monthly ones.t 

The Lodge continued paying its dues to the Grand Lodge, as 
appears from the records. At the Quarterly Communication 
of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge March 10, 1841, a peti- 
tion purporting to come from the Lodge was presented asking 
for a remission of the dues. This was referred to a Committee 
who, on June 9, reported that the petition seems to have 
emanated from a Brother individually, and without the author. 

♦Freemasonry was at a very low ehh at this time all over the coun- 
try. For a particular statement see the " History of 1< ree Masonry and 
Concordant Orders." 

t The Lodge continued to meet annually until Feb. 7, 1S42. 


ity of the Lodge, and, on recommendation of the Committee, 
no further action was taken on it. 

But the transfer of the real estate belonging to the Lodge to 
the Trustees of the Coffin School did not pass unnoticed by the 
Grand Lodge. The transfer does not seem to have received 
any attention from the Grand -Lodge until after the Great 
Fire of 1846. Soon after the disposition of their property the 
Lodge removed to a room in the old Athenaeum building, occu- 
pying these quarters from May, 1835, until the building was 
destroyed in the Great Fire. The records show that on July 
22, 1846, a Communication was held, said to have been called 
in their former quarters west of the Bank, then occupied by the 
Odd Fellows. The record goes on to say — " On motion of Bro 
Elisha Starbuck — Voted that we address the Gr Lodge, stating 
to them our situation, and praying for relief, and request them 
to grant us a Charter, as ours was burned at the late Fire. On 
motion of Bro. John Brock — Voted that we raise a Committee 
to draft a memorial to the Gr. Lodge stating to them the con- 
dition of Union Lodge. Voted that Bros. Sam'l PL Jenks, 
Chas Brown andBenj Brown be the above committee. Voted 
to adjourn to this place tomorrow evening at half past seven 

"At an adjourned meeting of Union Lodge held on Thurs- 
day evening July 23, 1846, * * * Rcc'tl and acted on the 
report of the committee that was chosen last evening to memo- 
rialize the Gr. Lodge. Closed at 9 o'clock." 

The Memorial was as follows : 

" To the officers and members of the M. W. Gr. Lodge of the 
State of Massachusetts — 

This memorial of the officers and members of Union Lodge 
in Nantucket respectfully represents that in consequence of 
the late dreadful calamity, by which a large portion of the 
business part of the town has been reduced to ashes ; the mem- 
bers aforesaid feel it incumbent on them to lay before your 
Most Worshipful body a statement of our losses, and implore 

* The Lodge was opened and die business transacted on the Entered 
Apprentice Degree. From July 22, 1S46, until Nov. 2 the Lodge met in 
its former hall, west of the Pacific Bank building, then occupied by the 
Odd Fellows. Then it was removed into the hall in the building of the 
Commercial Insurance Co. In Jan., 1863, it was again removed to Sher- 
burne Hall on Center street, and in 1890 it removed once more, occupying 
its present quarters. 


such aid as you in your sympathy ma}- find it proper to bestow ; 
and first as regards our Lodge ; the room in which we met and 
which we had fitted up at an expense of some four hundred 
dollars, was wholly destroyed with all its contents, having been 
unable to save anything except our Records and Jewels ; again 
a large portion of our members are directly sufferers by the 
Fire to a greater or less degree, some losing their whole prop- 
erty and being literally turned into the streets — We therefore 
request that you will grant us a renewal of our Charter, for un- 
less we continue to meet statedly as Union Lodge, we shall be 
liable to use what funds we have, and which are so invested 
that if the Lodge becomes extinct they will pass beyond our 
reach and '. ontrol.* We would further ask such pecuniary 
aid as you may feel disposed to grant — however small will be 
most gratefully received by your afflicted brethren. 
In behalf of Union Lodge, Nantucket 

Samuel H. Jenks ) 

Benj Brown > Committee 

Charles Brown ) 

P. S. It is requested that an answer may be sent immedi- 
ately as we wish authority to work until our Charter may be 
renewed, which bore date A. L. 5771." 

This petition was presented to the Most Worshipful Grand 
Lodge at the Quarterly Communication in September and re- 
ferred to a Committee consisting of Bros. Ilammatt, Bradford, 
Rogers, Loring and llobart, who reported verbally in favor of 
granting a new Charter, but asked for more time to more fully 
consider the subject, which was granted. At the Annual 
Communication, December 9, still further time was given. On 
March 10, 1847, the Committee made the following report, 
which was adopted : 

"The Com to whom was referred the petition of Union 
Lodge, Nantucket, have since the last report examined into 
the affairs of said Lodge and find that during the dark period 
of Anti-Masonic excitement, they were the owners of a build- 
ing valued at about $2,000, which was held by Trustees. 

In 1833 the number of Trustees was reduced to two, and the 
number of the members of the Lodge was greatly diminished. 
Very justly apprehending that in case the surviving Trustees 
should be taken away, or the Lodge be disbanded their inter- 
est in the building would be lost to the Fraternity— and there 
being no power in theGr. Lodge to hold real estate, the breth- 

* See report of Committee of the M. W. Grand Lodge, March 10, 


ren came to the conclusion, after mature deliberation, that 
they should best discharge their duty, by conveying the prop- 
erty to the Coffin School Corporation— This was accordingly 
done in Dec. 1835, anc * in terms which your Com. believe to be 
just and equitable. 

The Lodge relinquishes to the School, one fourth part of the 
interest arising from the funds, for and in considerati n of the 
privilege of admission to the School, of the orphan children of 
deceased Masons on the Island, on the same terms as the chil- 
dren of the Coffin family are received,, ami the Trustees of the 
School further engage to pay to the Lodge the remaining 
three fourths of the interest arising from the funds — So far all 
is well — But the Lodge has gone one step farther, and made 
the Coffin School Corporation the residuary legatee in case 
the Lodge should ever be disbanded. This places the funds 
forever beyond the reach of the Gr Lodge, and here is the 
great error of the transaction. 

The Lodge did not masonically or morally possess the right 
to make such a conveyance. It was done in violation of estab- 
lished Masonic usage, and meets with the severest reprobation 
of your Com. 

They are however disposed to believe, that if the Lodge had 
been correctly informed on the subject, or if there had been a 
written provision in the then Constitution of theG. Lodge, the 
offending brethren would not have been guilty of so flagrant 
a violation of their Masonic obligations. 

Your Com. are therefore disposed to regard it as a sin of 
ignorance, rather than of perverseness, and as such to overlook 
it. They would require rcpcntaficc, were it possible for the 
offenders to manifest that in a restitution of the property to 
its legitimate source — but this cannot now be done. They 
therefore recommend that the Lodge be permitted to retain 
its Charter, until otherwise ordered by this G. Lodge. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

(Signed) John B. Hammatt,* 
C. B. Rogers, 
Enoch Hob art, 
John J. Loring." 

Reading between the lines, and remembering that the of- 
fence was committed only after securing what was presumed 
to be sound advice, and really seems after all to be admittedly 
an ex post facto one, we may reasonably Infer that the strong 
language was rather as a preventive of future acts than as a 
censure of what already had occurred. 

* R. W. Bro. Hammatt was for several years proxy for Union Lodge 
in the Grand Lod^e. He became Junior and Senior Grand Warden, and 
in 1844 was Deputy Grand Master. 

For several years special Deputies were appointed for some 
Lodges instead of District Deputies, as the Lodges retaining 
their Charters were few and scattered. Right Worshipful 
Brother Benjamin Brown, for several years a District Deputy, 
was assigned to this duty for Union Lodge, and served in that 
capacity from 1850 until 1857, when the office was abolished.* 

In 1856 the Lodge had begun to recover from the effects of 
the Anti-Masonic crusade, and that year there were six 
Initiates. During the following year Most Worshipful John T. 
Heard, Grand Master, visited every chartered Lodge in Mas- 
sachusetts. He visited Union Lodge July 4, and reported 
that on that occasion there were present 4< Bro. Brown and 27 
Brethren." This was very nearly the full strength of the 
Lodge at the timet December 14. Right Worshipful Isaac 
P. Seavey, Special Grand Lecturer, visited the Lodge. He 
reported that he remained there five days giving instructions 
" with good success, though more lecturing here would be 
beneficial." December 18, 1858, Right Worshipful Sylvester 
Baxter, District Deputy Grand Master for the 8th District, re- 
ported, — " Union Lodge, Nantucket, are in fair circumstances, 
so far as I can learn ; they have been gaining of late, and I 
think if they would take a little more interest in the affairs of 
the Lodge, and be sure to be represented in the Grand Lodge, 
they would become highly prosperous. Their initiations have 
been three the past year." In December, 1859, Right Wor- 
shipful Brother Baxter reported: "'I commence with Union 
Lodge, of Nantucket, it being the oldest Lodge in my District. 

* The early District Deputy Grand Masters to Union Lodge were: 
1804-5-6, Wm. Coffin; 1807 to 1812, John Brock; 1813-14-15, Peter Hus- 
sey ; 1816-17, Nathaniel Barrett; 1818-19-20, Uezekiah 13. Gardner; 
1821, Seth V. Swift; 1822 to 1825, Klisha Starbuck ; 1826-7, Samuel H. 
Jenks. The Lodge was represented nearly every year in the Grand 
Lodge, though not at every communication, some Boston Brother usually 
being chosen as proxy. The representatives as recognized by the Grand 
Lodge, as appears by the records, were : 1802, Bro. Samuel Wells Hunt ; 
1S04-4, Bro. John Brock; 1805 to about iSii, Bro. John 13. Hammatt; 
1812 to '15, Rev. Bro. Seth Foster Swift ; 1816 to 1810, Bro. Joshua Si- 
monds ; 1820, Bro. Samuel H. Jenks ; 1821 to '41, Bro. David Parker; 
1848, Bro. George M. Thacher ; 1851, Bro. William C. Starbuck ; 1S53- 
4-5, Bro. Hugh H. Tuttle ; 1857, Bro. Thomas Restieaux ; 1861, Bro. 
Benjamin Brown: 1862, Bro. A.J. Morton. 

t The total membership Dec, 1857, was 47. 


There are but six older Lodges in the State, in fact, the date 
of its charter being 1771. It is in a good, healthy condition ; 
has had fourteen initiates this last year." 

July 17, 1863, the Lodge was particularly favored, receiving 
as guests the Most Worshipful Grand Master William Park- 
man, accompanied by Right Worshipful Brothers Charles C. 
Dame, Deputy Grand Master; Charles W. Moore, Recording 
Grand Secretary; Bro. Gardner, District Deputy Grand Master 
for the 3d District ; Bro. St ration, Grand Marshal; and Bro. 
Gay, Grand Tyler. 

The next important event in the history of Union F^culge 
and the one which concludes this narration of it, occ lined in 
1 87 1, when it celebrated with much pomp and circumstance 
its 1 ooth anniversary. On that occasion was organized a Lodge 
of Sorrow for the deceased Brethren, an extremely rare Ma- 
sonic event.* 

The first attempted break from the parent Lodge occurred 
July 1, j 820, when the records of Union Lodge reported as 
follows : " Rend the Petition of the Under named Brethren to 
the Grand Lodge oi Mass. to form a Lodge in this Town by 
the name of Pacific. R. W. Josiah Ilussey 1st Master; W. 

* The Secretaries of Union Lodge have been: William Johnson, 
from organisation to Jan. 1772; Phineas Fannin:;, from Jan. 1772 to Jan. 
1775; Christopher Hussey, from Jan. 1775 to Jan. 1794; A bner Coffin, 
from Jan. 1704 to Jan. 1795; Christopher Ilussey, Jr., from Jan. 1705 to 
Jan. 1802; Peter Ilussey, from Jan. 1802 to Dec. 1S04; John Brock, Jr., 
from Dec. 180.4 to Jan. 1807; James Collin, from Jan. 1807 to Jan. [816; 
Benjamin Coffin (died in office), from Jan. i8u> to May 1S16: lames F. 
Chase, from May 1816 to Jan. 18.19: Charles P. Swain, from Jan. rS-jy to 
Jan. 1883; Almon T. Movvry, from Jan. 1883 to Jan. 188 1; Henry Pad- 
date, froni Jan. i88_| to date. 

The following named Clergymen have been members of the Lodge- 
Zebulon Butler, James Gurney, Setli F. Swift, David Leonard, Nathan 
1). Ashcroft, Henry Lincoln, Noah Dishrow, Samuel H.Brayton, Walter 
R. Gardner, Charles E. Walker, James 13. Morrison. 

As nearly as can be ascertained, this list comprises all the members 
of Union Lodge who participated in the War of the Rebel! i< n : Charles 
H.Baker, Franklin T. Baker, Daniel C. Bray ton, Albion K. P. Bucknam, 
George G. Coffin, Henry F. Coffin, Peter F. Collin, Benjamin C. Knston, 
John B. F.nas, Henry F. Fisher, William R. Hathaway, Albert B. Holmes, 
Edward B. Hussey, George N. Macy, John G. Mitchell, Richard Mitch- 
ell, Jr., Alexander P. Moore, David Morrow, Benjamin B. Pease, Charles 
F. Russell, Anthony Smalley, Francis B. Smith, John W. Summerhays, 
William H. Swain. 


George F. Bunker, ist S. W.; W. Sewall Short, ist J. W.; 
Roswell Lebrett, Henry M. Pinkham, Win. P. Stanton, Wm. 
Coffin, Jun'r, Elnathan Liiblis and George Parker." The prob- 
abilities are that this petition tailed to receive the required 
endorsement of Union Lodge, and hence was not presented to 
the Grand Lodge. The records of Union Lodge say further, 
under date of July 6, 1820, "The Petition of Josiah Hiissey 
and others to the Grand Lodge to form a New Lodge in this 
Town is with Drawn." 

The first real secession from the Lodge occurred in 1822. 
The recorded proceedings, so far lis appears in the Grand 
Lodge records, are these : "March 13, 5822. * * The Pe- 
tition of Samuel PL Jenks and seven others for a new Lodge 
in the Town of Nantucket by the name of Urbanity was read," 
and committed. The Committee on the same day, through its 
chairman, Right Worshipful Paul Dean, reported " that it js 
expedient the Prayer of the Petitionees be granted." 

This petition must have had at least the perfunctory sanc- 
tion of Union Lodge. 

The next proceedings, as recorded, show that "At a special 
meeting of D. D.G. M. Lodge of Mass. at the Franklin School 
Room in Nantucket, Oct. 3d A. L. 5822 at 10 o'clock A. M. 
by virtue of a Commission to the R. W. Elisha Starbuek, Dis- 
trict D. G. Master of the 12th District from the M. W. John 
Dixwell, Grand Master, for constituting and installing Urban- 
ity Lodge, holden at Nantucket, in the District aforesaid. 

Grand Officers : 

R. W. Elisha Starbuek, D. D. G. Master ; W. Zacheus 
Hussey, D. G. Master ; W. Francis G. Maty, D. D. G. S. War- 
den ; W. Benjamin Brown, D. D. G. J. Warden ; W. Peleg S. 
Folger, D. D. G. Treasurer ; W. John Brock, D. D. G. Sec- 
retary ; W. Rev. Seth F. Swift, D. D. G. Chaplain ; W. Sewall 
Short, D. D. G. Marshall ; W. James F. Chase, P). D. G. S. 
Deacon ; W. George F. Bunker, P). D. G. J. Deacon ; W. Na- 
thaniel Barrett, D. D. G. S. Steward ; W. Henry Riddell, D. 
D. G. J. Steward ; W. Thomas Cary, D. D. G. Tyler. 

The D. D. G. Lodge being duly Officered was opened in due 
and ancient form, prayers being attended to by the Chaplain, 
After which the W. Henry M. Pinkham was introduced and 
was duly examined and qualified, after which he retired. A 
Committee was received from Urbanity Lodge who informed 
they were duly assembled in Union Lodge Hall, and were 
ready to wait on the W. D. D. G. Lodge. The Marshal then 



formed the procession, W. Bro. Wilson Rawson carrying the 
Holy Writings &c, VV. Bra. Benjamin Bunker the Hook of 
Constitutions On being* introduced into the Hall the follow- 
ing exercises commenced : Music, An address by \V. Bro. 
Samuel II. Jenks, being well adapted for the occasion, Music, 
Prayers, And the Officers were installed in due and ancient 

Officers Installed of Urbanity Lodge: 

R. W. Henry M. Pinkham, Master; W.Caleb Cushman, S. 
Warden; VV Isaac Hinckley, J. Warden ; VV. Isaac Coffin, 
T.; Samuel II . Jenks, S.; George Cannon, Chap.; Timothy G. 
Clapp, Mar.; Solomon B. Morse, S. Deacon ; Robert Mary, J. 
Deacon ; William Hart, S. S.; William C. Pitman, J S.; John 
Weiderhokl, T. 

Prayers by the G. Chaplain, and a procession was formed of 
the Officers and Members of the new Lodge, round the Lodge 
with Music, After which the D. D. G. Marshall proclaimed 
the new Lodge by the name of Urbanity Lodge constituted 
and installed in due and ancient form. Music was then per- 
formed, After which the D. D. G. Lodge formed a procession 
as before and returned to the School Room and closed with- 
out day. 

True record of the proceedings. 

Attest John Brock, D. D. G. Secretary. 

The above is a true Copy of the original on file 

Attest Thomas Powers, Grand Secretary. 

It is exceedingly unfortunate that no records of Urbanity 
Lodge are known to exist, by which its membership can be 
ascertained. If they were transmitted to the Grand Lodge 
when the Charter was surrendered, as undoubtedly they were, 
they were destroyed in the fire which swept away so many 
valuable documents belonging to and in custody of the Grand 
Lodge. When first organized its Communications were held 
on the third Monday of each month. So far as now appears, 
the only clues to its membership are to be found in the Inquir- 
ers of the time, and they gave only the names of the officers 
elected or installed, and even those with little regularity. 
Outside of this source, the only record apparently existing in 
regard to the Lodge is to be found in the account of the pro- 
ceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. From those 
we conclude that there was soma ill-feeling manifested in con- 
sequence of the institution of the new Lodge, since there was 
quite a serious friction arising out of action on the petition for 


a Charter between a prominent member of each Lodge, result- 
ing in a trial before Union Lodge, and an appeal from its 
decision to the Grand Lodge. The appeal was presented in 
the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge June 12, 1822, and was 
referred to a Committee ; the Committee was discharged and 
a new one appointed March 12, 1823; and the report was 
finally made June n, 1823. The original charge was against 
a Brother of Urbanity Lodge who was accused of "oppressing 
the widows of Masons." On trial of the member of Union 
Lodge who made the charge, Union Lodge decided the charge 
sustained. The report of the Committee of the Grand Lodge 
was that the evidence was not competent to convict, and the 
decision was set aside. The rep -it said in conclusion that 
before the Lodge marked the character of the Brother M with 
the disgrace of having violated on; of the most important and 
sacred ties * * * * * they ought to have acquired more 
full and convincing proof of his guilt." 

The feeling apparently found expression in another way — 
that is in refusing to admit to the business portion of the Lodge 
Communications any but Members. This, too, was referred 
to the Grand Lodge at a Communication field March 12, 1823, 
when Union Lodge sought information as to ''whether a sub- 
ordinate Lodge has any right to hold a Lodge of members to the 
exclusion of those who are not Members on a regular Commu- 
nication." This, too, was referred to a Committee, who re- 
ported in June that the inquiry was not one to have been 
considered by the Grand Lodge, but should have been made 
of the Grand Master ; however, the trouble was allayed, at least 
so that it did not come up before the Grand Lodge in any other 
form, and, as nearly as can be ascertained, the two bodies 
dwelt together in fraternal harmony. 

Urbanity Lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge with 
reasonable regularity up to 1830, and then representation 
ceased. At just what time the Lodge surrendered its Charter 
cannot be ascertained, but a report from R. W. Robert F. 
Parker, District Deputy Grand Master, entered on the rec- 
ords of the Grand Lodge of September 9 1840, refers to it as 
" the late Urbanity Lodge of Nantucket." 

The first suggestion of Capitular Masonry in Nantucket is 
found in the records of Union Lodge, where, under date of 


April 6, 1801, it is recorded that it was " Voted that Iko. Wil- 
son Rawson should meet in this Hall, on the mark Mason 
Degree agreeable to his appointment by his warrant lor the 
same from City of New York dated 7 da)- of September, 1797-" 
No record exists as to hovy many or who were associated with 
Companion Rawson, nor how far the organizati »n progressed 
or how long it existed. His warrant antedates the organiza- 
tion of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts by 
ten months.* Right Excellent Christopher G. Fox, Grand 
Secretary of the Grand Chapter of New York, in reply to in- 
quiries, says : " I regret that 1 am unable to give you an)' 
information respecting the organization of a Mark Lodge at 
Nantucket, or of the Capitular history of Comp. Wilson Raw- 

The extract from the records of Union Lodge, referred to 
in your letter, would seem to settle the matter of the issue of 
a Charter from New York in Sept. 1797. As the General 
Grand Chapter and the Grand Chapter of New York were 
formed subsequent to that date, I have no record bearing on 
the subject. 

There was a Chapter in New York prior to the date above 
mentioned called Washington Chapter, which assumed the title 
of the " Mother Chapter," probably hold without authority 
from any Grand Chapter. This Mother Chapter granted war- 
rants for Providence Chapter, No. 1, of R. I., and three Chap- 
ters in the State of Connecticut, all of which are active now, 
and it is possible that the authority for holding the Mark 
Lodge at Nantucket was derived from that Chapter. Wash- 
ington (Mother) Chapter ceased its labors two or three years 
after the formation of the Grand Chapter of New York. The 
most diligent search has failed to discover its records, or, in 
fact, anything pertaining to it." 

* The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts was organized 
in July, 1798, although St. Andrew's Chapter existed as a Chapter sev- 
eral years earlier. In this connection it is interesting to note what R. E. 
Alfred F. Chapman says in his interesting historical sketch of that Chap- 
ter, published in 1883. On page 23 is recorded " At the meeting held 
July 10th, 1764, "William Rawson of Nantucket " was a visitor, a fact 
which may he of greater historic interest than might appear to the casual 
observer, for it is not improbable, that this was of the earliest sowing of 
that seed which eighteen' years later ripened into the establishment of 
Rising Sun Chapter on that Island." The date is obviously intended to 
read 1794, and the Brother's name should have been Wilson Rawson in- 
stead of " William," a not remarkable error. St. Andrew's records re- 
port that " Bro. Smith" received the Mark Degree only, Feb. S, 1707. 
It is possible that this was Bro. Henry Smith, and that later he was 
associated with Companion Rawson. 


Our next information is derived from the records of the 
Most Excellent Grand Chapter of Massachusetts. Under date 
of Boston, June 9,5812,* it is recorded: "A petition from 
Comps. Rev. Jam "s Gurney, Peter Hussey, Tha 'delis Coffin, 

and their associates, to open and hold :i Chapter of Royal Arch 
Masons in the town of Nantucket, by the n.rnc of The Rising 
Sun, was then read,- — whereon it w;;.s voted that the prayer of 
the petitioners be granted and that they have and receive a 
dispensation accordingly, provided they first obtain a recom- 
mendation from St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, Boston." 

It would seem as though St. Andrew's Chapter wa.s at almost 
too remote a distance to have been affected by a Chapter at 
Nantucket, nevertheless the recommendation wa.s asked h>r 
and cheerfully and unanimously granted June 17, 181 2.}" As 
nothing referring to Capitular Masonry on Nantucket appears 
on the records of the Grand Chapter between the above-named 
date and 181 8, we must conclude that for some reason the 
Chapter never was established. 

On June 9, 1818, just six years after the petition lvferred to 
above wa.s received, the records of the Grand Chapter report : 

"A petition from Seth V. Swift and others, to hold a Chapter 
in Nantucket, was read, and committed to Comps. Z. G. Whit- 
man, Henry Whipple, and Roswell Lee, who having attended 
the duty, made the following report, viz.: The Com., ittee to 
whom was referred the petition of Comp. Seth F. Swift and 

* In the earlier Capitular records the dates are all A. D. Laiei they 
are, like the Lodge record dates, A. L., and finally the present style, A. 
Inv., was adopted. 

t The records of St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter of June 17, 5812, 
say: " A Communication wa.s received 1 from Companion And'w Sigour- 
ney requesting the approbation of this Chapter to the petition of James 
Gurney, Peter Hussey, William Nichols, Thaddeus Collin, John Brock, 
Jr., Wilson Rawson, David Myrick, Thomas Carey, & Josiah Barker ol 
Nantucket to the Grand Chapter of this State for a Charier to hold a 
Chapter in Nantucket. The said Petition being Read it was Unani- 
mously Voted — that their recpiest be complied with, and that accordingly 
the approbation of this Chapter be signified Officially by endorsing the 
same on said petition." The records of St. Andrew's Chapter further 
show the following dates of Exaltation: Companions— Josiah Barker, 
Dec. 10, 1S06 (dimitted Nov. 1812.); John Brock Jr., Dec. 10, 1806, James 
Gurney, Sept. 22, 1807; Peter Hussey, Oct. 2, 1807 ; David Myrick, Dec. 
10,1807; William Nichols, Sept. 22, 1807; Benjamin Russell, June 9, 
1800, (dinvtted Sept. 30, 1817); Seth F. Swift, May 29, 1817. 



others, praying for a new Chapter -to be established at Nan- 
tucket Having attended to the duty assigned them, ask leave 
to report, that in their opinion, the piaytr of the petitioners 
ought to be granted, and that the M. K. Grand High I'rkSt be 
requested to grant ihcm the usual dispensation or warrant 
issued in such cases." This repent was accepted, and the rec- 
ord further says : "At a ; pecia] Meeting of the Grand Royal 
Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, held in the town of Nan- 
tm ket, 25th of November, 5 8 < S , for the purpose of dedicating 
and installing the officers of Rising Sun Chapter: Present: 
M. E. Henry Fowlc, Dep. Gr High Priest ; E. Joseph Brown, 
Grand King; K. T. P. Jackson, Grand Scribe; E. Simeon 
Copps, Gr. Treas. pro tern.; E. Benj. Smith, Gr. Secy, and 
Gr. Ma' shall pro tern ; Rev, and E. Paul Dean, Grand Chap- 
lain, ilic Grand Chapter was opened in due form, and the 
following commission and report were read, viz.: 

To M. E. Comps. Joseph Brown and Paul Dean, — 

Companions, — You are. hereby appointed a C< mmittee to 
visit and examine the officers and members of Rising Sun 
Chapter, inspect their Records, By-Laws and mode oj work, 
and report to me on or before Wednesday, the 25th of Novem- 
ber inst. 

Yours affectionately, 

Henry Eowle, 
Deputy Grand High Priest. 
Nantucket, Nov 22, A. L. 5818. 

To M. E. Henry Eowle, Deputy Grand High Priest : — 

Your Committee have attended to the duty assigned them, 
and beg leave to report, that the officers and members of 
Rising Sun Chapter are worthy and well cpialified ; their rec- 
ords kept in a hancson e and correct style ; and their By-Laws 
and mode of work such as are consistent with the General 
Regulations of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachu- 

« i w M Sign «'« £° SEI n 15R0WN \ Committee 
Nantucket, Nov 25, 5818. Paul Dean j 

Vob d, that the Grand Chapter do now proceed to dedicate 
Rising Sun Chapter, and install its officers,. 

A grand procession was then formed, and proceeded to the 
meeting-house,* where the ceremonies of dedication were per- 
formed, and the following is a list of the officers installed, 
viz.: M.E. Seth F. Swift, High Priest ; K. Zaccheus Ilussey, 

* T k* South ConiiTeffatiorml. 



King; E. Thackkus Coffin, Scribe; Comp. Peter Chase, 
Treasurer ; Comp. James F. Chase, Secretary ; Comp. Aaron 
Mitchell, Royal Arch Captain; Comp. Gorham Coffin, Cap- 
tain of Host f Comp. Martini'. Morton, Principal Sojourner; 
Comp. Elisha Starbuck, Master of $l\ Vail ; Comp. Hezekiah 
B. Gardner, Master of 2d Vail; Comp. Rosvyell L Brett, 
Master of 1st Vail ; Com}). Jonathan Cplcsworthy, Steward 
Comp. John Brock, Steward ; Comp. Wilson Rawson, Tyler. 

After which a very suitable and appropriate discourse wa 
delivered, and suitable music performed by a select choir. 

The grand procession was then reformed and proceeded to 
Mason's Hall, and partook of a very .sumptuous entertainment, 
provided for the occasion by Rising Sun Chapter. 

The Grand Chapter returned to their Hall, and closed. 
• A true record from minutes of E. Benj. Smith. 

Attest John J. Loking, Grand Secretary. 

Nothing further of importance is recorded of Rising Sun 
Chapter, save its representation at the Convocations of the 
Grand Chapter, until September 9, 1824, when the records of 
the Most Excellent Grand Chapiter say : <; A communication 
from Rising Sun Chapter at Nantucket, stating their wish to 
surrender their Charter, and a memorial against the same, was 
read, and the subject committed to Comps. A. Peabody, John 
Abbott, Henry Whipple, Daniel Baxter and Thomas Tolman." 
This Committee made a report Dec. 7, the purport of which 
does not appear, which was read and "ordered to lie on the 
table for the present, for the infi rmation of the Grand Chap- 
ter, and that the Committee be instructed and authorized to 
take all necessary steps to inquire and ascertain ail the causes 
of difficulty in and about the premises, even if it should require 
the personal attendance of said Committee at Nantucket, and 
make report of their doings at a future meeting of this Grand 

December 14 the Committee was discharged at their own 
request and the following motion was voted ; "That the M. E. 
Grand High Priest and Deputy Grand High Priest, be a Com- 
mittee to repair to Nantucket, if they find it necessary, with 
full power in the name and on behalf of the Grand Chapter, to 
decide all the Controversies and difficulties existing among the 
members of Rising Sun Chapter, and that the}' be authorized 

t The order of succession of sonic of the officers was quite different 
from the present. 


to return the charter and regalia to the officers and members 
of said Chapter, or to retain and return the same to the Grand 

At the Convocation of the Grand Chapter for September 13, 
1825, the Committee reported that — " in the month of July 
last, pursuant to previous notice, they repaired to Nantucket 
and summoned all the former members of the Rising Sun 
Chapter to appear before them, and collectively and individu- 
ally to make known their grievances and complaints. The 
summons was cheerfully obeyed, and a long and patient inves- 
tigation was had. The companions of that Chapter demeaned 
themselves with frankness and forbearance which was credit- 
able to those who had long been in the attitude of hostility 
towards each other. 

The Committee found the complaints and discontents num- 
erous, but none of them founded on very important grounds. 
It was found that unfriendly feelings had arisen among indi- 
viduals, which, by incautious remarks, misconstructions of each 
other's motives, and perhaps a rivalship between candidates 
for office, had risen to personal animosity. The frailties of 
individuals had been strongly arrayed by their opponents, and 
some who had many good qualities, tarnished by some unhappy 
faults, but who on the whole stood well in public estimation, 
had been accused, as unworthy of membership. And from 
such causes, their meetings became inharmonious and unprofit- 
able, and the result was the return of their charter. 

After a full hearing, the Committee were convinced that a 
proper restraint of feeling and exercise of charity and discre- 
tion, would return harmony to the Chapter. We were satis- 
fied that no decision of the Grand Chapter would be productive 
of good. They were exhorted to mutual forgiveness. Time 
had softened their animosity, and when they had met and 
explained, they appeared to adopt the opinions of the Com- 

The result was, that all the members present agreed to re- 
quest the return of the charter to all members of Rising Sun 
Royal Arch Chapter ; and they promised, if it should be re- 
turned, to support it on Masonic principles. Upon this the. 
Committee restored to them their charter and regalia. 

As the controversy is thus terminated, it appears inexpe- 
dient to detail the various accusations and complaints. We 
lament that difficulties of such a character among Royal Arch 
Masons should eve]- exist, or if thev must sometimes exist, that 
they should not immediately be corrected by those among 
whom they had their origin. The termination of the difficul- 
ties in Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter, we believe is the wisest 
and best that could be ; and it will probably be long before 

4 2 

the Grand Chapter will hear any similar complaints from Nan- 

Signed Paul Dean ) n 

Augustus Peabodv \ Commlttee 
Boston, Sept. 9, 1825. 

The above report was accepted, and, on motion, Voted, That 
the thanks of this Grand Chapter be presented to the M. E. 
Paul Dean and Augustus Peabody, for their very arduous and 
successful exertions in healing the breaches and settling the 
controversies which have unhappily existed among the com- 
panions of Rising Sun Chapter at Nantucket." 

Rising Sun Chapter seems to have been wrecked and to 
have foundered in the Anti-Masonic storm. The final men- 
tion of it on the records of the Grand Chapter is on September 
8, 1840, when the following was recorded : " The Committee 
on delinquent Chapters, reported, by reading a letter from 
Robert F. Parker, addressed to Comp. Charles W. Moore. 
On motion of Comp. Moore, it was Voted, That the letter and 
a memorandum be filed with the jewels and regalia returned 
by Rising Sun Chapter of Nantucket, pledging (as a gratuity 
and not as a principle,) the avails of said regalia should any 
ever be realized from them, to the payment of a debt of $40, 
due by said Chapter to Comp. Rob't F. Parker of said Nan- 
tucket." And so perished Rising Sun Royal Arch Chapter.* 

The last chapter of Capitular Masonry in Nantucket is soon 
written, for it has to do with recent years. The records of the 
Most Excellent Grand Chapter for September 10, 1867, state 
that on that day a petition was received from Charles E. Allen, 
Henry C. Pinkham, William Hart, George F. Bunker, James 
F. Chase, George S. Wilbur, Charles H. Jaggar, Orrin F. 
Adams and George W. Macy praying that a Chapter of Royal 
Arch Masons might be established in Nantucket, which was 
referred to M. E. R. S. Pope ; D. W. Crafts and L. A. Felix, 
who later in the day made their report. That report said 
4f From evidence presented, they are satisfied, that though the 

* Comp. Rev. William Morse of Nantucket, was appointed Grand 
Chaplain Sept. 7, 1S30, and again Sept. 13, 1831, Oct. 2, 1S32, and Dec- 
10, 1S33. At the Memorial Service in honor of the late Comp. De Witt 
Clinton, G. H. P. of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States, 
held in Boston June 10, iS23,an elegy, written for the occasion by Comp. 
Samuel H. Jenks, was sung. 


Chapter may never be large, as regards numbers, from the 
peculiar circumstances of location, yet it will doubtless be a 
live and active one, and therefore they recommend that the 
prayer of the petitioners be granted, when the petition is in- 
dorsed by Orient Chapter."* 

A dispensation was granted the same day. The Charter 
members, besides those already named, were Joseph Mitchell, 
2d, Joseph S. Barney, Stephen R. Williams, William H. Wes- 
ton and Francis B. Smith. One petitioner, William Hart, 
does not appear as a Charter member. The name given the 
new Chapter was "Isle of the Sea." The officers working 
under Dispensation were: Charles H. Jaggar, M. E. H. P.; 
Joseph S. Barney, E. K.; C. E. Allen, E. S.; Geo. W. Macy, 
T.; Orrin F. Adams, Sec; G. S. Wilber, C. of H.; O. F. 
Adams, P. S.; J. F. Chase, R. A. C; J. Mitchell, 2d., M. of 3d 
V.; G. F. Bunker, M. of 2d V.; H. C. Pinkham, M. of 1st V.; 
Wm. Hart, Chap. The Chapter was consecrated and the offi- 
cers installed by officers of the Grand Chapter, August 27, 
1868. The only changes made at that time in the list of offi- 
cers were that Stephen R. Williams was installed M. of the 3d 
V.; Henry C. Pinkham, M; of 2d V,; George F. Bunker, M. of 
ist V.; and Frannis B. Smith, Sentinel. 

But one more phase of Free Masonry in Nantucket remains 
to be mentioned, and that, owing to the almost total absence 
of data, but very briefly. 

The origin of Cryptic Masonry in Nantucket is even more 
obscure than that of Capitular Masonry. As before, the first 
suggestion of it is found in the records of Union Lodge. 

The record of August 12, 1823, says that " Rev. Stephen 
Bailey and Benj Brown as a committee from the Council pray 
for the use of this Hall to hold the Convocations in." A Com- 
mittee was appointed, and instructed " to let the Hall accord- 
ing to their own feelings." This indicates that at that date a 
Council of Royal and Select Masters was in existence, but 
when it was organized, or under what authority, are problems 
as wrapped in obscurity as the origin of Speculative Masonry. 
The Grand Council of Massachusetts was not organized until 
June, 1826, about three years afterwards.! 
* Of Hyannis. 

t The early Grand Council records are very imperfect, and there 
seems to be no mention of a Council at Nantucket. The name probably 
was Unity. As in other bodies, the titles of the officers have been some- 
what changed in these later years. 


In the Inquirer of December 16, 1823, there is mention of 
Unity Council of Royal and Select Masters, and on January 
3. 1825, the Inquirer published the following list of officers, of 
what it then calls Union Council : " Companions George 
Cannon Esq., M. I. Grand Master ; Isaac \V. Whitman Esq., 
Illustrious G. M,; Josiah Hussey Esq., I. Conductor of the 
Work; S. H. Jenks, Master of the Exchequer; James F. 
Chase, Recorder: Henry M. Pinkham, Senior Grand Warden ; 
Wm. P. Stanton, Junior Grand Warden ; Benjamin Brawn, 
Master of the Guards ; Elisha Starbuck, Inside Sentinel ; 
Wilson Rawson, Outside Sentinel.* 

This is absolutely all that has come to light concerning this 
Council, up to the present time. It is possible that among the 
papers of some of the Companions named may yet be found 
further information concerning insular Cryptic, as well as Cap- 
itular and Symbolic Masonry. 

* The titles of officers are somewhat different at the present time. 

NOTES. — In a petition to the Gen'l Court in 1779, Bro. Tristram 
Barnard states that he sailed for England in 1775; that his vessel was 
sold there; that he engaged in the whale fishery from that country ; that, 
desiring to return to his native country he, with a Capt. Jno. Chaddock, 
bou^ht^a vessel ; that they have taken the oath of allegiance to the United 
States ; that his crew is composed of Americans who had been prisoners 
in England and whom he assisted in escaping and secreted on his vessel ; 
and that he frequently assisted prisoners in that country. The Commit- 
tee of the General Court found his claims well founded. 

Bro. Jonathan Downs was granted a permit by the Gen'l Court to go 
to the French and Dutch W. I. islands with a cargo of fish and lumber 
in the schooner Nightingale, provided he wouldimport West India goods 
and salt. Bro. John Elkins received a similar permit for the sloop Sand- 

Bro. William Goldsmith, in a petition to the Gen'l Court, represents 
that he was obliged, in the course of his business, to sail from London 
in British employ ; that he is a native of and strongly attached to this 
country; that he was unable to return because of the Restraining Bill ; 
that he steadily refused to take on his vessel guns or munitions of war 
because he would not oppose his native country's cause; that he has 
shown tender attention to American prisoners in England ; and that his 
vessel was captured by the American privateer Lexington. He asks 
release and liberty to return to London, and his petition is fully indorsed 
by the owners of the Lexington. The Court grants the petition on his 
promise to procure the release of an American of the same rank. 

Bro. Andrew Myrick 2d represents himself in. a petition to the Court 
as owner of the sloop Industry; that he " has exerted himself in the 
<;reat Cause of Liberty as much as any Man upon the Island, by Supply- 
ing Boats, &c, and in every other way in his Power, & is still (1777) 
ready to do so;" he asks a permit to proceed on a vovage to Curacoa, 
engaging to bring in gunpowder, etc. The Court granted him the per- 


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